The World Class Bartender of the Year contest is one of the world’s most prestigious international bartending competitions, and this week in Miami Jennifer Le Nechet defeated 10,000 other bartenders to be named 2016’s top bartender of the year.
Jennifer Le Nechet is from France and can normally be found bartending at the Cafe Moderne in Paris. Her victory at the World Class competition means that she will be a brand ambassador for Diageo Reserve, and her duties will include creating original drink recipes and judging bartending competitions around the world. Le Nechet is the first woman to take the top prize in the competition’s eight-year history.
The four-day bartending competition had more than 10,000 entries from 56 countries who were expected to perform challenges like mixing classic cocktails and crafting original recipes, and even a speed challenge of mixing 14 cocktails in 10 minutes. 56 bartenders made it to the semi-finals in Miami this weekend, and just six competed in the finals.
The final competition was an interesting challenge. Each of the six finalists had 24 hours to create a pop-up bar that reflected their bartending aesthetic. Le Nechet created a Steampunk-themed bar serving her twist on classic cocktails, using homemade emulsions, cola, and organic ingredients.
"I'm completely blown away,” Le Nechet said. “It's such an honour to take home the title of World's Best Bartender - especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can't wait for the experience ahead!"